The Big 12 will once again have the appropriate number of members in the conference.
The only caveat is that it took the conference’s two marquee schools, Texas and Oklahoma, shocking the nation and fleeing the Big 12 to join the SEC without anyone knowing.
The Big 12 needed to make a move in response, otherwise the conference would sink and bring the remaining eight teams with it. On Friday, the Big 12 formally invited BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to join the conference.
Of the new additions, BYU has the easiest process of joining the Big 12 as they are currently an Independent team in football. According to ESPN, BYU will be joining in the 2023-2024 season. The other three schools have some hoops to jump through due to contractual obligations with the AAC, and although they can join the conference the same time as BYU, they will have to pay a larger buyout fee.
According to the statements made by Texas and Oklahoma, the two schools do not plan on leaving the Big 12 until 2025. If so, the conference could field 14 teams for a couple seasons until their departure. However, it’s still seemingly likely that the Longhorns and Sooners are playing in the SEC much sooner than that.
It is unknown what will now happen to the AAC, but the Big 12 securing these four schools very well just saved the existence of a conference that was thought to be dead and gone.